Category Archives: Night Readers Past Reads

Books the Night Readers have read in the past.

Ugly by Robert Hoge

When Robert Hoge was born, he had a tumor the size of a tennis ball in the middle of his face and short, twisted legs. Surgeons removed the tumor and made him a new nose from one of his toes.  Amazingly, he survived—with a face that would never be the same.

Strangers stared at him, kids called him names, and adults could be cruel in their own ways. Everybody seemed to agree that Robert was “ugly.” But Robert refused to let his face dictate his entire life. Then, when Robert came face to face with the biggest decision of his life, he followed his heart. This poignant memoir about overcoming bullying and thriving with disabilities shows that what makes us “ugly” also makes us who we are.

Because of Mr. Terupt by Rob Buyea

It’s the start of fifth grade for seven kids at Snow Hill School. There’s . . . Jessica, the new girl, smart and perceptive, who’s having a hard time fitting in; Alexia, a bully, your friend one second, your enemy the next; Peter, class prankster and troublemaker; Luke, the brain; Danielle, who never stands up for herself; shy Anna, whose home situation makes her an outcast; and Jeffrey, who hates school.

Only Mr. Terupt, their new and energetic teacher, seems to know how to deal with them all. He makes the classroom a fun place, even if he doesn’t let them get away with much . . . until the snowy winter day when an accident changes everything—and everyone.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

Harry Potter has never been the star of a Quidditch team, scoring points while riding a broom far above the ground. He knows no spells, has never helped to hatch a dragon, and has never worn a cloak of invisibility.

All he knows is a miserable life with the Dursleys, his horrible aunt and uncle, and their abominable son, Dudley — a great big swollen spoiled bully. Harry’s room is a tiny closet at the foot of the stairs, and he hasn’t had a birthday party in eleven years.

But all that is about to change when a mysterious letter arrives by owl messenger: a letter with an invitation to an incredible place that Harry — and anyone who reads about him — will find unforgettable.

The Lemonade War by Jacqueline Davies

This engaging tale by Jacqueline Davies is “filled with real-life problems that relate to math, getting along with siblings and friends, [and] dealing with pride” (School Library Journal). Evan’s little sister Jessie may be a smartypants, but he usually doesn’t mind her. That is, until he hears Jessie’s going to skip third grade and be in his year at school. Now, with tempers flaring, their friendly lemonade-selling competition is turning into an all-out war.

The Fantastic Secret of Owen Jester by Barbara O’Connor

With her trademark wit and easy charm, Barbara O’Connor spins a fantastic fable of friends, enemies, and superbly slimy bullfrogs. An amazing secret has tumbled off a freight train into Carter, Georgia, and Owen Jester is the only person who knows about it. If he can simply manage to evade his grandfather’s snappish housekeeper and keep his nosy neighbor, Viola, at bay, he just might be in for the summer of a lifetime.

Masterpiece by Elise Broach

New York Times bestselling middle grade mystery novel full of adventure, friendship, and stolen art.

Marvin lives with his family under the kitchen sink in the Pompadays’ apartment. He is very much a beetle. James Pompaday lives with his family in New York City. He is very much an eleven-year-old boy. After James gets a pen-and-ink set for his birthday, Marvin surprises him by creating an elaborate miniature drawing. James gets all the credit for the picture and before these unlikely friends know it they are caught up in a staged art heist at the Metropolitan Museum of Art that could help recover a famous drawing by Albrecht Dürer. But James can’t go through with the plan without Marvin’s help. And that’s where things get really complicated (and interesting!). This fast-paced mystery will have young readers on the edge of their seats as they root for boy and beetle.

In Shakespeare’s Secret Elise Broach showed her keen ability to weave storytelling with history and suspense, and Masterpiece is yet another example of her talent. This time around it’s an irresistible miniature world, fascinating art history, all wrapped up in a special friendship― something for everyone to enjoy.

Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick

In this groundbreaking tour de force, Caldecott Medalist and bookmaking pioneer Brian Selznick sails into uncharted territory and takes readers on an awe-inspiring journey. 

Ben and Rose secretly wish their lives were different. Ben longs for the father he has never known. Rose dreams of a mysterious actress whose life she chronicles in a scrapbook. When Ben discovers a puzzling clue in his mother’s room and Rose reads an enticing headline in the newspaper, both children set out alone on desperate quests to find what they are missing.

Set fifty years apart, these two independent stories–Ben’s told in words, Rose’s in pictures–weave back and forth with mesmerizing symmetry. How they unfold and ultimately intertwine will surprise you, challenge you, and leave you breathless with wonder. Rich, complex, affecting, and beautiful–with over 460 pages of original artwork–Wonderstruck is a stunning achievement from a gifted artist and visionary.